The World: The Piet

Almost a year has passed since a deranged Hungarian-born Australian named Lászlo Toth attacked Michelangelo's Pietà in its chapel at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. With 15 hammer blows Toth knocked off the Madonna's left forearm, dented her veil, smashed her nose and chipped her left cheek (left).

The restoration of the 6,700-lb. statue was carried out by ten Vatican technicians, who were considerably aided in their task by the existence of a plaster cast of the Pietà that had been made 30 years ago. Using a sort of plastic surgery, they restored the...

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